Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Again, and possibly for the last time, depending on whether I spend $75 for wireless access

We're on a plane headed to San Diego. Instead of leaving two vehicles at the airport for a week, or going through the hassles of having friends drop us off on a Sunday morning, and then pick us up on the return trip, we tried a van service.

The driver was a refugee from Iraq.

He had a copy of the Koran on the dashboard, plus a Haddith (sp?) by the seat.

Wonderful man. He turned off the radio and put in a CD of Christmas Carols for our benefit. He got a kick out of my daughter announcing that she looked forward to beating me at tennis in a foreign country.

We got to the airport, which was a freakin' zoo. Everyone travelling for Christmas and New Years. All that PLUS a higher security level.

Lots of soldiers and sailors in unform.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how many people's lives have been lost, how many lives have been disrupted, and how the economy has been slowed down with security and inspections because a tiny percentage of one of the world's major religions decided that they hated everyone who disagreed with them.

(Had to stop a moment while the plane took off....Read this week's Weekly Standard if you get a chance. There's a wonderful article in there by a P.O.'d ex-Mormon. He's got some good things to say about the ridiculous mess going on between Southern Baptist Huckabee and Mormon Romney in Iowa. Will give the guy a link on this post if I ever get a chance to find it online....)

I'm now in the "Library" of the cruise ship. It's the Princess Dawn, excuse me, The Dawn Princess sailing from San Diego. We're docked across from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and the wooden ship that Russell Crowe captained in the "Master And Commander" movie.

Here's another thing: If I were taking this trip prior to 9/11, security wouldn't have been so tight. I KNOW I could've gotten my own liquor onto this boat.

There are people from all over the world on this cruise. I briefly sat at the bar with a man from Jordan and talked with him for a while. Great person, except for the fact that he made his wife (in a traditional head covering) wait for him outside the bar.

If there's a point to this post, it's this: Life is a great thing. People are generally good. If you try to be a nice friendly person, they'll like you. They'll be more likable if you try. We don't need to be issuing Fatwah's against each other, we don't need to assure our team that God Won't Hear The Prayers of People On Their Team. We don't need to invent any more Hells for each other, here or in the next life. (With the exception of the person who wrote the Big Band arrangement of "Let It Snow" that's booming all over this damn boat. He's going to hell.)

Everybody have a great Christmas. Happy New Year. Hannukah. And Kwanzaa.


Anonymous said...

People talk about the need to reform Islam. Now you can stop talking and start helping.

With the help of our readers we went through the Koran and removed every verse that we believe did not come from Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. We would like to publish Reform Koran in as many languages as possible. If you could help with translation, editing, or distribution of the Reform Koran, please email us at If you could provide financial support, please visit our support page.

In Memoriam of Aqsa Parvez.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

MeRrY cHrIsTmAs!

Great Post. Thanks for the Ws tip.

Jay@Soob said...

That reform Islam is an odd and interesting bit.

At any rate best to you and a happy new year.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, very interesting. Textual Criticism of The Koran isn't a very good career path, is it? Those pesky death squads play hell on tenure track job offers.
In all seriousness, what they're talking about reminds me of The Jefferson Bible, or Marcus Borg's edition of The Q Gospel.
I'd like to know how the advocates of Islamic Reform answer the following question....
"Do you, as an advocate of Islamic Reform, believe that Apostasy (converting to another faith, or to no faith at all) should be punishable by death?"
If anyone from the Muslims Against Shairia group is out there, please chime in....I'd like to know if ANYONE from the Religion Of Peace is willing to give up the concept of killing those who disagree with them.

Anonymous said...

"Do you, as an advocate of Islamic Reform, believe that Apostasy (converting to another faith, or to no faith at all) should be punishable by death?"

Hopefully this excerpt from our manifesto will answer your question:

"Religion is the private matter of every individual. Any person should be able to freely practice any religion as long as the practice does not interfere with the local laws, and no person must be forced to practice any religion. Just as people are created equal, there is no one religion that is superior to another. Any set of beliefs that is spread by force is fundamentally immoral; it is no longer a religion, but a political ideology. "

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Wow. Good Answer, sir.
Have you considered posting portions of the Reform Koran anywhere online?

Anonymous said...

It is posted on our website in English and Russian. We are also working on Swedish and other versions.